Green essentials: beeswax wood polish

Wood is beautiful but it must be maintained in order for it to keep it’s beauty, especially in places where the heating is on for any length of time.

Wood adds a natural element to any environment. A rustic bowl is often mixed into a modern decor for a more down to earth look. The wood softens the otherwise linear look.

In my home I like to mix antiques with contemporary furniture. The look is softer and more grounding. However, some of the wood pieces require quite a bit of care during those winter months, while the heat is blasting, in order to avoid cracks.

In the kitchen I have many of my handmade cutting boards and spoons which also require regular upkeep.  So when I discovered that most oils sold to polish your wood items were made of mineral oil – a petroleum product – I had to make a product of my own.

My biggest concerns were toxicity and environmental influence. I did my research and found that beeswax, when combined with an oil, was a good replacement for mineral oil. Since most oils go rancid within 6 months, I used unrefined virgin coconut oil, which has a long shelf life. Getting the quantities right was a bit of a challenge but the goal is to keep it hard but not so hard that you can’t spread it.

My handmade butter smells divine and is good for between six months to a year when stored in a cool, dry place.

If the butter is too hard to spread (this happens sometimes in the cold winter months) place in a warm spot and wait for it to soften up a bit. Then use a spoon to scoop out a small amount and spread it all over your cutting board using a cotton cloth. Let it sit for a few minutes and then polish the board with the same cotton cloth. No paper towels or you’ll make a mess of you and your board.

The before and after photo is of some cherry wood cutting boards I made. As you can see, the butter really brings out the beauty of the wood.

This butter is also great for your wooden spoons and bowls. Just make sure to apply the butter when the wood is dry and not immediately after washing the items as beeswax and oil do not blend with water.

I have also made a lighter version of the butter for polishing my wood furniture. It is light and easy to spread and keeps the shine for weeks. The best part is that unless your home is very dusty, you don’t need to reapply every couple of weeks, you can simply use a soft cloth to buff the polish that has become dull.